Are you aware of recent statistics, that SMEs in worldwide have been characterized by high mortality rates during their first 5 years of existence and only about 5 or 10 percent remain, thrive, and grow to maturity? This report is of great concern, especially with high inflation rates that are prevalent not just in Nigeria but in several African nations.
Starting a new business is like nurturing an infant baby. Being highly sensitive to everything the baby goes through, especially trying to pay great attention to the nonverbal gesture from the baby, becomes a huge factor in ensuring the growth and survival of the baby.
So is the case for growing and nurturing new ventures or businesses. If you intend to grow your business and see it move from the infant stage to a full-fledged business, you need not play on assumptions, but rather you must rely on, stay true to and implement time-tested principles to achieve that feat.
Small and medium enterprises require great care, caution, prudence, and diligence to be able to thrive and compete in the market, and above all knowledge of the business itself.
In this article, you will have first-hand knowledge of these principles that if implemented religiously, will see your business thrive and grow into a stable and dominant business entity.
1. Have a vision, a mission, and let everyone live it
Coca-Cola has a vision, Apple cooperation has a vision, and Microsoft has a vision, likewise, all enduring companies of the world have visions for their company. This is the blueprint of any establishment upon which every other thing is built.
And so the first rule of starting any business is not just to create the vision, but to communicate it to every employee, let everyone see it, believe in it, and personalize it. The overall growth of your business whether it’s for the long term or short term depends on it.
2. Have detailed and thorough bookkeeping culture
The daily organization of your company’s financial transactions into organized accounts is the process of bookkeeping. It can also be seen as the several recording methods that business entities may employ.
For a variety of reasons, bookkeeping is crucial for businesses, including making accurate budgeting possible, preparing for taxes, keeping organized records, enabling proper investor reporting, assisting in setting and monitoring business goals, ensuring compliance with legal requirements, and proceeding.
Any business that wants to expand must make this a regular practice.
3. Create Systems and automation
The use of technology to automate business operations is known as business automation. Business automation, sometimes referred to as business process automation, can significantly increase productivity by assisting businesses in automating all of their formerly manual procedures.
This also applies to developing procedures, systems, and flows that have a predetermined outcome. Businesses will benefit from increased productivity and growth as well as the reduction of errors.
4. Build excellence and quality
As a business, you must have a culture of excellence and quality. This is the onus of successful businesses. Because having done all you could to get the service or products to the market, the quality of your service or product will become your greatest selling point.
Businesses grow faster and retain their dominance when they are known for quality. A little variation might cause a dent in your brand and this may harm the growth of the business.
5. Employ aggressive promotion and marketing strategies
You must keep in mind that you have a competitor as a business, thus you must employ an aggressive marketing strategy while acting ethically.
You can get someone’s attention regarding what you have to offer by using aggressive marketing techniques. Effective, aggressive marketing will demonstrate to others your consistency and self-discipline.
Aggressive marketing can be accomplished via a variety of tactics, including setting up promotions and sponsorships, among others.
6. Prioritize customer support and feedback
Customer Support is a great key to building a culture of loyalty among your customers. Businesses should invest in their customer service department. The employees in these departments must be skilled in handling objections and suggestions from customers.
As a business, you must encourage feedback from your customers however it comes, and see to it that their interest is well considered. This is the secret to many successful businesses in the world.
7. Build a strong team and raise visionary leadership among employees
People make the business. As an SME, you must not just communicate the vision to your employees, but you must be able to bond them as a team, and thereafter forge a visionary leadership out of them.
Leaders that understand in all certainty the business and its core objectives and values. Building a team out of your employees will enhance good working ethics and relationships among them, which ultimately affect the growth of the business in a positive way.
8. Prudence and adaptability
The capacity to anticipate and quickly alter courses in reaction to changes in the market and governmental regulations is a characteristic shared by many successful SMEs. You will see faster growth if you adopt an agile development methodology for both your organization and your product.
You may test various company strategies and determine what works best in the shortest period by allowing firms to adapt and adjust swiftly. It enables you to stumble, get back up, and keep going.
9. Research and dig deep into your competitors
Your competitors are aware of information that your business may not be aware of. By digging deep into them, you can begin to see your competitive edge over them as well as the edge they have over you. Have a proper look at their visions, work ethics, marketing styles as well as their special selling point.
To start, pay attention to their digital marketing plan. Examine their social media profiles and website. How do they produce leads and traffic? What do they publish online? What type of content does the business in question release?
You might then desire to comprehend their target audience. Find out who their target market is. Does your market target or audience overlap with that of your competitors? And lastly, learn about their Strong points and weak points. Dig into where they shine. What are their weaknesses? What can you improve upon?
You will have a competitive advantage over your rivals if you accomplish this.
10. Calculate business growth rate
Did you realize that calculating business growth may be done mathematically? It is quite easy to calculate! Choose a statistic first, like revenue. Next, look at the beginning and ending values of the two periods. Multiply the result of the division of the final value by the initial value by 100. You get your growth rate as a result. The formula can be written thus:
End value÷starting value 100% = Growth rate
For instance, your formula would be as follows if your annual revenue in the first year of starting your firm was NGN10,000 and increased to NGN 50,000 in the second year:
(50,000/10,000) x 100% equals a 500% annual revenue growth rate.
Comparing these outcomes across multiple areas can provide you with crucial information. Understanding the growth rate of any given indicator can show you how your firm is progressing in each area. For instance, if your revenue has increased dramatically but your profitability has decreased, this indicates that your expenses have increased faster than your income and that your company may be moving in the wrong path.
11. Don’t quit when the going gets tough
Don’t give up. Despite all the principles you have thought out and put into practice, obstacles must arise, and risks are unavoidable. You might not offer the biggest, most distinctive, or in-demand good or service for the now, but you do have the zeal. Stay focused.
Utilize technology to its fullest extent to automate your workflows, and above all, assemble a mentoring team. However, never consider giving up.
As a business owner, the responsibility to grow your business lies in your hands especially when it comes to SMEs. Having a vision, especially for the long term, is the beginning. Being able to communicate it to your employees is another. With this first hurdle achieved, you can then watch as you grow that business, provided every other principle, like bookkeeping, amongst others is not neglected.